Vince Cable visits Plymouth University to launch the first Regional Growth Fund project

Vince Cable on the Plymouth Uni research boat - announces first successful project to receive RGF money

Vince Cable visited Plymouth University yesterday where he announced they were the first successful project to be awarded Regional Growth Fund money.

While on his visit, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the opening of the Plymouth University and Western Morning News Growth Fund (PWGF) – the first project to successfully secure funding from round one of the regional growth fund.

The project will create jobs across the Heart of the South West and the Cornwall and Scilly Isles local enterprise partnership regions. It will do this by awarding grants to small businesses that have struggled to access finance through other means.

Vince Cable visit to Plymouth University with Prof Wendy Purcell, Vice Chancellor, and Prof Julian Beer, Director of Research and Innovation, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Regional Enterprise, Research and Innovation)

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“I applaud this initiative of Plymouth University and Western Morning News. It’s a very imaginative scheme to promote small business in the area. The aim of the Regional Growth Fund is to help local people unlock the growth and jobs opportunities in their area, and I’m pleased bids from the first round are starting to make progress towards achieving this.

“Support for small business is vital to help encourage new businesses and entrepreneurs, and the private investment this scheme will bring in will give a real boost to the economy.

“The Regional Growth Fund has been hugely popular and I’m looking forward to more proposals getting up and running and doing their bit to help create jobs and deliver long-term growth.”

Professor Wendy Purcell, Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth University and lead Vice Chancellor for the University Alliance regional economy project, said:

“In partnership, Plymouth University is leading the development of a radical ‘innovation landscape’ across the South West Peninsula. It’s a new model and we’re already seeing great results.

“The launch of the Plymouth University and Western Morning News Growth Fund will take us to the next level in driving economic growth, to help SMEs create jobs in the region.”

Libby Hackett, Director of University Alliance, said:

“This is a really exciting project and demonstrates just how much Alliance universities, such as Plymouth, have their finger on the pulse; responding to real economic challenges in their region and leading the way in economic growth.

“This announcement is a very welcome sign that Government is increasingly recognising the central role universities play in economic growth. Alliance universities, including Plymouth, are leaders in this approach because of their strong partnerships with business and their established culture of active business engagement right across the university.”


Notes to editors:

  1. The Plymouth University and Western Morning News Growth Fund has been allocated £1million from the RGF and aims to allocate grants of £10,000 – £100,000 to around 30 businesses. More information here on the Plymouth University website –
  2. University Alliance is a group of 23 major, business-engaged universities committed to delivering world-class research and a quality student experience around the UK. They are universities without boundaries: delivering economic and social growth through close links with their research, students and staff and the world around them – locally, nationally and internationally. With representation right across the UK they educate over 25% of all UK students, with large proportions of international and post-graduate students.
  3. Alliance universities – Aberystwyth University, Bournemouth University, University of Bradford, De Montfort University, University of Glamorgan, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Hertfordshire, University of Huddersfield, University of Lincoln, Liverpool John Moores University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Northumbria University, Nottingham Trent University, Open University, Oxford Brookes University, University of Plymouth, University of Portsmouth, University of Salford, Sheffield Hallam University, Teesside University, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, University of Wales, Newport, University of the West of England.


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